Highly ranked light heavyweight contender Gilberto Ramirez plans to impress in his first assignment under Oscar De La Hoya later this month.
The undefeated former WBO Super Middleweight Champion will have a lot on the line on July 9th against world light heavyweight title challenger Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs).
A future world title fight, and ultimately, his boxing legacy is on the line.
Ramirez, who recently turned 30, was the first Mexican fighter to capture a world super-middleweight title. He relinquished the belt in 2019 to move up to the light heavyweight division.
Since then, he is 2-0 both via knockout, having defeated Tommy Karpency (29-6-1) and Alphonso Lopez (32-3) last December to capture the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) crown.
To get a world title shot against any of the reigning champions in WBC and IBF Artur Beterbiev (16-0 (16 KOs), WBA Super champ Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) or WBO Joe Smith (27-3, 21 KOs) – Barrera stands in Ramirez’ way.
Ramirez, who is ranked No. 3 by the WBA and WBO and No. 5 by the IBF, knows what’s at stake.
“That’s what the fans want, but I’m not sure if these fighters are ready for me,” Ramirez stated. “I wasn’t impressed by any of the three in their recent bouts.
“They can run as much as they want, but they can’t hide forever. I know I’m the best in the division and, sooner or later, I will be snatching each of the belts and taking their souls one by one.”
A decorated Cuban amateur boxer (285-27 record), 39-year-old Barrera defeated future pro world champions such as Chad Dawson, Beibut Shumenov, and Mariano Natalio Carrera before defecting from Cuba to Miami and turning pro.
Barrera, fighting out of Cuba by way of Miami, is 3-3 against past or present world champions with victories against Jeff Lacy (WTKO4), Karo Murat (WKO12), and Felix Valera (WDEC10).
He lost to Bivol, Smith, and Hall of Famer Andre Ward.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA MISSION
As he approaches his maiden mission under the Oscar De La Hoya Golden Boy banner, “Zurdo” sees nothing but a stern test.
“I always expect the best from my opponents,” Ramirez noted. “Barrera is a professional, and I know he will be ready when the lights are on.
“He displayed that he’s a strong fighter when he beat and broke Joe Smith, Jr.’s jaw in their bout.
“A victory for Barrera can resurge his career and alter my path; so, I prepare for the best version of Barrera, and I will not let anything deter my goals.
“I’ve been working hard. There’s new stuff I’ve been fine tuning. I can’t wait to showcase it on July 9th. Fight night. I know all my hard work will pay off.”
Zurdo vs. Barrera, presented by Golden Boy Promotions, will be streamed exclusively on DAZN, live from Banc of California Stadium.
Tickets priced at $150, $100, $75, $50, and $35, excluding applicable service charges, are available to purchase at www.bancocaliforniastadium and www.ticketmaster.com.